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Vall Llach Priorat 2012

Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
  • WS95
  • WE94
  • W&S93
  • RP92
15.5% ABV
Other Vintages
  • RP90
  • RP94
  • WE91
  • WS94
  • WE94
  • RP94
  • RP96
  • WE95
  • WE96
  • RP96
  • WS95
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15.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Designated as a Vi de Finca Qualificada having originated from a single vineyard of exceptional quality, Vall Llach's flagship wine is made entirely from old-vine Carignan grapes that grow in one special plot called Mas de la Rosa, or "Rose's Farmhouse." In a breathtaking landscape, this single vineyard sits on incredibly steep slopes of rocky slate with a south-facing orientation -- ideal for producing tiny clusters with immense natural concentration. Profound and structured, Mas de la Rosa contains a rich weave of potent aromas and flavors without losing the subtle nuances or harmony that Priorat is known for.

Blend: 93% Carignan, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Grenache

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 95
Wine Spectator
Rich and polished, this plush red delivers a mouthful of blackberry, licorice, creamy vanilla and baking spice flavors, with well-integrated tannins and gentle but bright acidity. Floral, orange peel and mineral notes linger on the long, juicy finish.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Licorice, lemon peel, nutmeg, black cherry, requisite schist and smoke aromas set up a juicy, full-bodied, tannic palate with blackberry, mocha, cassis and mild herbal flavors. Blackened toast, licorice and black-fruit flavors are draped all over a smooth, controlled finish.
Cellar Selection
W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
The flagship wine of Vall Llach, this grows on a steep slope facing the warm afternoon sun. In the hot, dry 2012 vintage, the wine is almost impenetrable, a block of ripe black fruit. As it takes on oxygen in the glass, it begins to show a softer side, calming the fierceness of the tannins and pulling aside the curtain of superripe fruit to reveal fresher herbal notes. It is grand in all aspects, while still balanced in its voluptuous immensity.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Finally, the single-vineyard, crown jewel that is a blend of 93% Cariñena, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Garnacha, the 2012 Vall Llach Mas de la Rosa seems to have taken the heat of the vintage much better. Although ripe, it's not overripe, and there are floral notes reminiscent of violets, plenty of spicy/smoky aromas of vanilla, cinnamon and cloves and some slate, peat and graphite reminiscences. Not as massive as you'd think (unless we talk about the huge, over-sized bottles...), it's actually elegant within its style, and compared with its siblings, the tannins are well-coated with juicy fruit and the glycerin from the alcohol. It ends long and relatively warm. This has better balance within the powerful, rice and generously-oaked style.
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Vall Llach

Vall Llach

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Vall Llach, Spain
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From its founding in the early 1990s, by famed Spanish singer Lluís Llach and notary Enric Costa, Vall Llach winemaking has been governed by a commitment to rigor and quality. The winery lies in the tiny village of Porerra, in southern Catalonia, in the highly-acclaimed D.O.Q. Priorat. Here, the magnificent century-old vineyard estates of Vall Llach are home to 60- to 90-year-old Cariñena and Garnacha vines.

Old vines naturally produce low yields, and Vall Llach reduces yields even further through careful vineyard management for densely concentrated wines. Vineyards climb steep slate hillsides, receiving optimum sun exposure and beneficial water deprivation, further concentrating the fruit. Newer plantings of Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah add complexity to the old-vine character, and the resulting wines - Vall Llach, Idus, and Embruix - have received high critical acclaim.

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Tiny and entirely composed of craggy, jagged and deeply terraced vineyards, Priorat is a Catalan wine-producing region that was virtually abandoned until the early 1990s. Its renaissance came with the arrival of one man, René Barbier, who recognized the region’s forgotten potential. He banded with five friends to create five “Clos” in the village of Gratallops. Their aim was to revive some of Priorat’s ancient Carignan vines, as well as plant new—mainly French—varieties. These winemakers were technically skilled, well-trained and locally inspired; not surprisingly their results were a far cry from the few rustic and overly fermented wines already produced.

This movement escalated Priorat’s popularity for a few reasons. Its new wines were modern and made with well-recognized varieties, namely old Carignan and Grenache blended with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. When the demand arrived, scarcity commanded higher prices and as the region discovered its new acclaim, investors came running from near and far. Within ten years, the area under vine practically doubled.

Priorat’s steep slopes of licorella (brown and black slate) and quartzite soils, protection from the cold winds of the Siera de Monstant and a lack of water, leading to incredibly low vine yields, all work together to make the region’s wines unique. While similar blends could and are produced elsewhere, the mineral essence and unprecedented concentration of a Priorat wine is unmistakable.

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Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

YNG581424_2012 Item# 234009